More Good News On ADA Litigation

June 18, 2018 at 9:06 am Leave a comment

Carroll v. ROANOKE VALLEY COMMUNITY CREDIT UNION is the latest victory for credit unions arguing that the individuals seeking to bring claims against credit unions because their websites violate the ADA lack standing to bring these suits.

This case involved a blind individual who argued that the credit union’s website. Among other things lacked alternative text which prevented visitors from obtaining vocal descriptions of the credit union’s graphics. However, the court refused to address the merits of the claim, concluding that “Carroll does not allege that he actually uses or plans to use RVCCU’s services. And it is implausible that he would travel more than 200 miles to visit a RVCCU physical location when he has never done so before, has no immediate plans to do so, and falls outside RVCCU’s limited membership field.”

This case is noteworthy because the court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that even though he was not within the credit union’s field of membership, he nonetheless had standing as a “tester.” Under this argument, standing is available to test compliance with the ADA on behalf of others who might be eligible to join the credit union. The court quickly rejected this argument concluding that one status as a “tester” does not by itself establish standing.

Keep in mind that this is the latest example of a very good decision for credit unions that is only binding on credit unions located in the Fourth Circuit, which includes Virginia, Maryland and parts of North Carolina. We haven’t seen much litigation in other areas yet such as the Second Circuit in New York. However, the Fourth Circuit’s ruling constitutes persuasive authority which complicates the ability of plaintiffs to bring successful class action lawsuits in other jurisdictions.

OMB Insider To Be Nominated As CFPB Head

One of the first rules of understanding the Trump Administration is to expect the unexpected. So no one should have been surprised when word came out over the weekend that the Administration would be nominating Kathy Kraninger to head the CFPB. So much for retiring Congressman Darrell Issa and current NCUA Board Chairman J. Mark McWatters.

Now anyone who tells you they know what kind of Director Kraninger would make is either lying or needs a life. All we know from press reports is that she currently is an official at the OMB which is currently overseen by acting CFPB Director Mick Mulvaney. Still that hasn’t stopped the opposing sides in what promises to be a lengthy nomination process from running to the ramparts.

The White House informs us that she will bring a “fresh perspective and much needed management experience” to the Bureau which it contends has been “plagued by excessive spending, dysfunctional operations and politicized agendas.”

In contrast, Carl Fish, Executive Director of Allied Progress informs us that her nomination is “nothing more than a desperate attempt by Mick Mulvaney to maintain his grip on the CFPB.”

If she is ultimately approved, Kraninger will serve a five-year term. Stay tuned. 

Medallion Update

Lately I have unabashedly made this blog The New York State of Medallions blog. According to Craines New York, Nordo Acquisitions, Incorporated bought 131 of the medallions for $170,000 apiece. To put this into perspective, the same group bought 46 of the King’s medallions last September for $186,000. The company is hoping to lease the medallions, between $1,000 -$1,200 a month, for a return of approximately 7% annually. They are effectively betting that the medallions have hit their floor.

The medallions that sold for $250,000 were purchased by buyers who already own the loans and offered them at a price they knew no one would meet in order to maintain control of their assets.

It’s Only Money

Last but not least, New York State’s Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood announced a $100 million settlement to settle claims brought against it by 42 states resulting from its manipulation of LIBOR. “Our office has zero tolerance for fraudulent or manipulative conduct that undermines our financial markets,” said Attorney General Underwood. “Financial institutions have a basic responsibility to play by the rules – and we will continue to hold those accountable who don’t.”

Entry filed under: General, Legal Watch, New York State, Regulatory. Tags: , , , , .

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Authored By:

Henry Meier, Esq., Senior Vice President, General Counsel, New York Credit Union Association.

The views Henry expresses are Henry’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Association. In addition, although Henry strives to give his readers useful and accurate information on a broad range of subjects, many of which involve legal disputes, his views are not a substitute for legal advise from retained counsel.

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